Is Ruth Marcus Suggesting that Monica Lewinsky 'Asked for It?'

Washington Post commentator Ruth Marcus appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports Monday to continue the tired "Republican war on women" meme in the wake of controversial statements by Mike Huckabee and Senator Rand Paul.

During the discussion, Marcus declared that Monica Lewinsky, "was not precisely an innocent victim."

There seem to be a tendency to talk about women in two ways when it comes to sex and sexual activity. Either they're terrible victims preyed on by older men as in Monica Lewinsky - President Clinton did a bad, bad thing; Monica Lewinsky was not precisely an innocent victim. I recall some thong flashing there.

Marcus either ignores or hopes to brush away several realities, namely that Monica Lewinsky was twenty-two years old - still a child as defined by the Affordable Care Act, that President Clinton was her employer and therefore in a position of power over her, and that he was the President of the United States, giving him not only power over her immediate employment but untold leverage over any future opportunities for career advancement. Indeed, Lewinsky's superiors at the White House arranged for her to transfer from her internship at the presidential mansion to a position at the Pentagon specifically to curtail her ongoing relationship with the President.

Of course, the implication that a woman was 'asking for it' is not a new one, but it is perhaps unusual when floated by a well-known feminist to defend the behavior of the most powerful man in the world.